In July, Manon Brouillette will move to New York to begin her new career as COO and vice-CEO of the consumer division of telecoms giant Verizon. A challenge that makes her a little dizzy, but a dizzy spell that she considers much more stimulating than distressing. “I am throwing myself into a vacuum, but with the impression of broadening my horizons,” explains the ex-CEO of Videotron who has just entered through the front door into the – very competitive – American business world.
Posted on June 5, 2021 at 6:30 a.m.
It was at the end of a process that lasted several weeks that Manon Brouillette was finally selected to occupy a function that has just been created at Verizon, that of Chief Operating Officer.
Verizon’s approaches began in March by videoconference and continued in this way until Manon Brouillette obtained confirmation that she had been selected as the final candidate.
Why was she preferred over all the other candidates? “You should ask them,” she replies. More seriously, I think it was my reading of the market and my outspoken personality that worked in my favor. I was also fortunate to have been at the heart of the transformation of the telecoms sector. I was at Videotron from 2004 to 2018. When I started in marketing and development, we were still on coaxial, wireless did not exist, we were starting out in residential telephony. With Robert Dépatie, the CEO of Videotron and my mentor, we were constantly innovating and launching new products such as Club illico. ”
And precisely, Verizon wants to expand its footprint in the field of telecoms with American consumers thanks in particular to the 5G revolution and the investments of 50 billion that it has just made to double its spectral capacity.
Verizon wants to make internet service more accessible to people living in the mountains of Wyoming as well as those living near the deserts of New Mexico. The implementation of 5G will allow it to offer high-speed connectivity to all consumers, no matter where they are.
We experienced it during the pandemic when we made videoconferences with people located in poorly connected regions. The image and the sound froze. The implementation of 5G will solve these problems and make communication fluid and accessible everywhere, throughout the United States.
This consumer shift was reinforced by the recent sale of Verizon’s media business, which included the Yahoo and AOL portals, and the US $ 7 billion acquisition of prepaid mobile phone provider TracFone.
On the ground of knowledge
Although she is fully aware that she is joining a much larger group than the one she led in 2018, Manon Brouillette points out that the business model and product lines are similar. “When I left Videotron in 2018, we had revenues of 3.4 billion. The Consumer division that I’m going to lead at Verizon alone generates $ 90 billion in revenue. But it’s the same structure with technical and engineering teams, call and data centers, customer service… ”
The former CEO of Videotron has spent the last two years to recharge his batteries and promote his know-how by sitting on several boards of directors and by carrying out strategic consulting mandates for investment funds.
At 50, I decided to leave Videotron, take a break, recharge my batteries before seeing what I was going to do. At the beginning, I cleared my mind, I got closer to my family, I wanted to experience something else. It’s been an amazing two years, but I was ready when Verizon approached me.
Manon Brouillette has left the boards of directors of which she was a member, notably those of Altice USA, a competitor of Verizon, and Lightspeed, the new Quebec star of e-commerce. “I won’t have any more time, I’m going to be pretty busy like that, especially since I want to tour our main centers of operations over the next year. I only kept the National Bank board, which will force me to come back to Montreal every three months, ”predicts Manon Brouillette.
The original Trifluvienne has found accommodation in New York large enough to accommodate her children, now adults, when they want to stay in the American megalopolis. “It’s the beauty of accepting a challenge like the one I undertake at 52 years old. I will work hard, but I want to keep a balanced lifestyle. It is not true that you have to work 70 hours to be efficient.
“All my relatives know that I could not refuse such a proposal,” said Manon Brouillette in a tone of delight. I think I can bring added value to Verizon in its digital transformation processes and in the customer experience approach that we have developed at Videotron and which has greatly impressed Verizon executives. We understand each other well and I can’t wait to get started. ”